Math Doodles and Harry Potter Septets

There’s a fun young woman named Vi Hart who created a couple of very different diversions I wanted to share today.

First, she made this quirky video about binary trees and chopped heads here…

And she also wrote a seven-movement piece about Harry Potter for her senior project at Stony Brook University.  The first song excerpt: His Eyes are as Green as a Fresh Pickled Toad.

Oh yes, and don’t forget her bit about mathematical food!

Fun!  🙂


More Great Freebies

Here’s two wonderful freebies that CurrClick is offering this week.  Get them while you can…

This secular Baroque Era unit study is massive and comprehensive.  It’s a PDF file with clickable links to streaming videos, printouts, interactive games and tons more.  It’s designed to be used for multiple K-12 ages and is creative, interesting and just really well designed from what I can see.

They’re also offering this smaller download, a 26 page set of Father’s Day notebooking pages.  Kids can fill in the writing prompts about their favorite times with Dad, draw pictures and even present him with an award.

Sing a Little Science!

Have you listened to the singing science songs? I love these and I used to nurse Anna and Jack to sleep with these playing in the background. They are so cute and do such a good job of teaching so many scientific concepts! If you don’t know about these treasures be sure to go take a listen with your kids. I had forgotten about them and plan to load up some science music ASAP. 🙂

5 Fun Ways to Learn Today

We’re off to civilization for groceries, with a stop at the lake on the way.  I’m miserably sick again (still) but I seem to always be sick these days and we need groceries. No rest for the wicked!  😉

Here’s some fun ways I’m going to try to work in a little learning along the way.

1.  Learn some botany terms and start a family quest to find everything in the Botany Scavenger Hunt

2.  Try to buy foods from 10 different countries at the supermarket today.  Find them on the map.

3.  Do a math relay race in the van.  Start with a number and have each of us take turns calling out something to do with it and finding the new number and “handing” it to the next person.  For example, start with 13 and call out “Anna, times 2.”  Anna hollers out “26!  Jack, minus 3.”  Jack hollers out “23, Victoria, plus 81” and so on.   We’ll see how long we can keep the chain going as a family.

4.  Try to write a family song together.

5.   Bring a world atlas in the car and take turns calling out capital cities.  The first person to name the country the city is the capital of gets to become the new caller.

Great Music Site for Kids

I stumbled onto the Classics for Kids website and it looks like a really neat resource.  Designed to teach kids about classical music, it has lots of really creative games and activities about music and composers, as well as tons of information, podcasts and lesson plans.  I’ve been playing the podcast on freedom songs and spirituals.  There’s also jazz, baroque, impressionistic and (obviously) classical music, among others.

This seems like a great site to visit even once a week or so to enrich the kids’ musical education.

Anna's New Guitar

Look what Anna’s got!

I got it for her a few weeks ago.  She’s in love.  🙂  She takes it everywhere.

It was fairly pricey but I wanted to get her a quality guitar and it’s an investment.  She is such a musical child and she loves to play on the cheap Walmart children’s guitar we have, but it’s not even good enough quality to stay in tune.  She is forever writing songs, singing and playing music, and I wanted her to have an area where she got to really shine.  It can be hard to be one of four kids, especially in the middle and with Victoria as a big sister.  (Victoria, incidentally, is learning to play the dulcimer, which she’s also happy about.)  The girls have even taken to entertaining friends with their playing.  🙂

We got Anna a lesson book and Daryl has been giving her lessons.  He knows some but not enough to take her far.  The dulcimer is easy to teach/learn, but we’re looking for a guitar tutor in town now.

What do you think?  Does it suit her?  🙂

Flower of Scotland

Our dear friend Polly lives in Scotland.  She asked Daryl to teach the kids to sing “Flower of Scotland” since it’s considered one of their national songs and is so beloved.

Daryl printed the words out and we’ve been singing it together in the car.  It is a lovely song and it gets stuck in your head!  I’ve asked him to learn it on the dulcimer so we can sing it to music, too.

The tune is a bit tricky to get from just the lyrics so I asked him to find some versions for me to listen to.  Here are some favorites.

Video of the Corries singing it 40 years ago…

[kml_flashembed movie=”” width=”425″ height=”350″/]

Brigid Gore for a female perspective

and The Red Hot Chili Peppers for a modern rock perspective.

A bit of the history behind it, from this site where you can find national anthems, sheet music and more:

A constituent nation of the United Kingdom, Scotland lacks an official, legislated “national song”; in fact there are several songs in use as “national songs” of Scotland. The one most often considered as the unofficial national anthem (and most often presented as Scotland’s anthem at sporting matches) is “Flower of Scotland”, written by Roy Williamson for the popular folk group The Corries. This anthem, however, has not been adopted in any official basis as the Scottish anthem.

We’re finishing studying China right now but next we’re delving into Scotland… lapbooks, food, history, culture, etc.  It is such a marvelous country that it should be a really neat unit.  Having the tie to Polly makes it all the more special, too.


O Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
Your like again,
That fought and died for,
Your wee bit Hill and Glen,
And stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

The Hills are bare now,
And Autumn leaves
lie thick and still,
O'er land that is lost now,
Which those so dearly held,
That stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

Those days are past now,
And in the past
they must remain,
But we can still rise now,
And be the nation again,
That stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

O Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
your like again,
That fought and died for,
Your wee bit Hill and Glen,
And stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again